Five Academic Centers Selected to Train Next Class of The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship

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by Mary Chapman |

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In partnership with the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) for Parkinson’s Research has announced five academic centers chosen for the Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders to train the Class of 2022.

Each year, the five-year-old fellowship provides funding to five research centers globally, each of which will train one new movement disorder specialist over two years. Fellowship awardees are neurologists who will receive enhanced training in diagnosing and managing Parkinson’s disease.

For both years combined, each fellowship is valued at $180,000. So far, 18 medical centers globally have been granted funding. The program is on track to graduate 26 movement disorder specialists by 2022.

Selected medical centers for 2019 include Baylor College of Medicine, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Alabama at Birmingham, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, and University of Florida.

An advisory committee chose the applicants based on the extensiveness of their clinical academic offerings, and breadth of prospective research opportunities. Each funded center is expected to find an eligible neurologist to start the program next year.

“Increasing the number of movement disorder specialists who can care for patients and lead research studies benefits not only individual patients and families, but also the entire Parkinson’s community,” Lily Safra, chairwoman of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, said in a news release. “The growth and success of The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders is a testament to the ongoing and rising need for Parkinson’s specialists around the world.”

The fellowship emphasizes the benefits of specialists being both scientists and physicians. As physicians, trainees can learn from patients, and use that knowledge in research. As researchers, they can answer patients’ questions about promising treatments, and advance disease understanding.

“Connecting patients to research and care is fundamental to The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s mission,” said Todd Sherer, PhD, CEO of MJFF. “The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders is uniquely structured to build, class by class and year by year, a global network of movement disorder specialists who can meet patients’ research and care needs.”

The fellowship is named for the late philanthropist who had Parkinson’s disease. Safra’s wife, Lily, is a longtime MJFF board member. To date, the organization has funded more than $800 million in Parkinson’s research.

The program is open to academic centers worldwide, including previously awarded centers. Go here to apply for the next round, the class of 2023. The deadline is Dec. 13. Visit this page for more information.

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